As winter marches on, making December in the Missouri ozarks more like a powerhouse of January winter, we find that we are being challenged in ways we are not used too so early on. Our water is either frozen or non existent, as we were not able to get out of the property for 2 days. But that does not phase us, you see this is our fourth winter off the grid here in the Ozarks and we have picked up a few tricks of the trade. So I wanted to share with you all just what we do during this frozen time for water. As you may realize, when a winter storm comes through, you are surrounded by water. YES you can drink it, it is safe as long as where you take it from is safe. IE: It’s probably not safe if you take frozen water from a bucket that was previously a compost toilet bucket, or an animal watering dish…especially chickens.
However, we are collecting icicles, large blocks of ice and snow and putting it in clean 5 gallon buckets, bringing them indoors near the wood stove and thawing it all. We do this and we never run out of water. The animals as well as the people have water daily. We are now able to get to our fresh water source, but again, this night and tomorrow we are expecting more snow and ice. So the graded county road, that took 3 days to get too, will see be rough to drive on again. With the hills that are around here, sometimes travel to our fresh water source is inadvisable. When we do go to collect water, we have five 17 gallon food grade barrels, two 5 gallon recycled spring water jugs, and two 7 gallon water coolers made by a survival company.
Future plans will remedy all the work involved to have fresh water during frozen months. Plans include a water storage shed that will be insulated and heated (if necessary) which will house all our water barrels. Because we can not yet afford to have a well put in and find that it is way to much rock to do it ourselves, we will continue to gather and haul our water in to the property as we have been doing for a year now. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good, if you consider anything bad in life. As a Zen Priest, I see anything that involves hard work on the homestead as a form of meditative work. Besides, I moved off grid because I enjoy doing everything myself, self sufficiency is the name of the game folks, we work hard on the homestead and we love it!